On Monday A-Sign Boxing streamed the latest Hachioji Nakaya card, headlined by teenage sensation Jin Sasaki (9-0, 8) who took out Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-14-1, 9) in the final seconds of the opening round. The win saw Sasaki claim his third straight stoppage win and his second win this year. It also saw Miyazaki take his 11th stoppage loss, and likely sent the 36 year old into retirement.
On paper this wasn't great match up, no one will tell you otherwise. It was, potentially a chance to see whether Sasaki could take a shot, if Miyazaki landed, but the expected outcome was always an early win for Sasaki, and he continues to head towards bigger and better things. Given Miyazaki had already been stopped in the opening round twice before it was expected that he would be stopped very early here, and he was, at the 2:53 mark of round 1.
Despite the outcome being expected it was a bout worthy of a closer look and one that we felt deserved the Take Aways treatment.
1-Sasaki carries himself like a star
We said this last time we covered a Jin Sasaki bout and we'll say it again, the 19 year old exudes an aura of a star. He came into the ring with some high energy music, a huge robe, and the look of someone who was looking to turn heads. This is a young man who realises he's in the position to be something big in the boxing world, and he knows that to do that he needs to connect with fans, something he is doing every time he steps in the ring. From his entrance to his performance he gets it. He knows he needs to entertain and that's what he did through out the contest. Like a fighter who know he needs to shine, he finished the bout in style, and took the next step forward on his journey to stardom.
2-Miyazaki didn't come to lose
Despite a lengthy losing run and being seen as the very obvious under-dog Tatsuya Miyazaki didn't enter the ring to make up the numbers. He came forward, looked to use his experience and heavy hands and even backed up Sasaki at times. Whilst he did pay for trying to make a fight of things no one can say he came for a pay day. Had he been there to collect his purse he would have stayed down after being dropped may way through the round and not taken the heavy leather that came afterwards. He was gutsy, came to win and was simply up against someone better, stronger, quicker and more powerful.
3-The referee was in the right place through out
The ending here nearly got very ugly. With the clacker gone Miyazaki was in an awful position on the ropes and could have easily ended up taking a number of clean, unprotected shots. Credit, however, goes to Akihiko Katsuragi for being in the perfect position and stopping this one before that happened. It's easy to complain about referees, and then getting it wrong, but once again we were impressed by a referee. Through out the bout Katsuragi was scarcely needed, but when he had to act he did, and he was never out of position. Referees around the globe should be watching some of these Japanese fights and realising where the referees are standing. We recently watched a bout in the UK where the referee was almost constantly too far away, and had this situation happened with that referee in question Miyazaki would have ended up taking 3 or 4 shots too many.
4-Sasaki should fight at 140lbs
This was Sasaki's first bout as a Welterweight and if we're being honest we hope this is his last bout at the weight for a while. He's a natural 140lb fighter at the moment, and he will certainly grow into a 147lb fighter one day, but for now lets have him fighting at 140lbs, rather than carrying around the extra water weight. Thankfully it does seem like this was a one off and his next bout will be at 140lbs, when he returns on December 26th for a Japanese Youth title bout against Aso Ishiwaki.
5-Sasaki Vs Ishiwaki is gonna be awesome!
Having just mentioned Jin Sasaki Vs Aso Ishiwaki we really don't think we can explain just how excited we are about this one. The styles, mentalities, and toughness, power, aggression, strengths and flaws of both men should gel amazingly well here. It's not a given that we end up with a Fight of the Year contender, but our guess is that this is going to be something very, very special. The bout was rumoured earlier in the year, and now with the two men putting pen to paper we have a post-Christmas gift to look forward to. Interestingly both men have had trouble getting opponents, so facing off against each other is the perfect solution. They built this fight brilliant after Sasaki's win here and had the two men stare down on the entrance way to the ring, and this really does fill us with a sense of pure excitement.
Bonus Take Away - Ichitaro Ishii deserves real respect from the boxing world
The stream for this bout was put on by A-Sign Boxing and it was a fantastic stream with Junto Nakatani doing guest commentary and adding some star power to the show. The entire show only had 3 bouts and one of those was mismatch. Despite that we he left us feeling like it was really worth tuning in. Once again he has put together a product that was fantastic, and giving us the Sasaki Vs Ishiwaki announcement after Sasaki's win really added to the allure of that bout. It's easy to hate on promoters, but Ishii is proving that they aren't all bad. He's used a low profile card to build towards something big amd that is what promoters should be doing every show. Fingers crossed that one day Ishii gets the budget to run wild and do exactly what he wants to do, but until they we'll need to appreciate what he's doing with limited financials and a smart brain.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).